Paul Lambert hails Ipswich youngster after draw at high-flying Bristol City
Paul Lambert hailed his talented youngsters after watching Ipswich take a deserved point in a 1-1 draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Centre-back Adam Webster put City ahead against his old club on 32 minutes, rising at the far post to nod home a Niclas Eliasson cross from the right.
But spirited Ipswich refused to cave in and grabbed a deserved equaliser on 68 minutes when City left-back Lloyd Kelly turned Myles Kenlock’s driven cross from the left into his own net.
The result was enough to lift City back into the play-off zone, but their performance attracted loud jeers from home fans at the final whistle.
“We had six Academy lads in the squad and to come here and play like that was fantastic,” said Lambert.
“I am over the moon about the performance. You need a pathway for kids coming through and we have a lot of good ones.
“I am not picking them because I believe we are getting relegated. I am playing them because they deserve it and need to learn.
“We should have beaten Bristol at our place and we should have beaten them again tonight. We played some fantastic football at times.
“The club has thrived through producing its own players in the past and must do so again. The signs are really encouraging.
“We started the game well and created some good chances. It was a continuation of our good form and I didn’t think Bristol caused us many problems.
“They are riding high in the table, yet we more than matched them.”
Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson felt his side showed nerves in their performance.
Johnson said: “I understand the fans’ reaction because it was a nervy display.
“But we have no divine right to beat an established Championship club like Ipswich, who are much better than their position in the table suggests.
“They have some good players and an excellent manager. I’m actually quite pleased to take a point from the match.
“We are in the top six with 10 games left and at the start of the season we would have bitten hands off to be in that position.
“I want my players to enjoy the pressure. I have had to spend 10 minutes in the dressing room lifting them because they are an honest group, who really care.
“Our two first-choice goalkeepers, Frank Fielding and Niki Maenpaa, are both likely to miss the rest of the season through injury. Stefan Marinovic made some great saves on his debut, but needs to work on when the ball is at his feet.
“He has to get used to the pace of Championship football.”